(Phase 21 of the Scarlet Night series.)
Phase Twenty-One: Sorrowful Separation
“You two are truly twins, Kyuhyun,” she sighed with a shake of her head,
“I am nothing like her, Taeyeon,” he retorted,
“Even short-tempered like her,” she smiled as they walked down the empty corridor, “What’s interesting enough is that both of you reign in your tempers until the other twin is mentioned. Then you both blow up like volcanoes.”
“Stop comparing me to her,” Kyuhyun stated,
“It’s so hard not to,” Taeyeon replied, “Even when we were little you two even looked like each other.” She folded her arms over her chest, “You know, sometimes, if it wasn’t for her hair, I would get you two mixed up.”
“Now you’re just being insulting,” Kyuhyun said,
“No, you’re just taking them as insults,” Taeyeon corrected, “There’s a big difference between me meaning to insult and you understanding to be insulted.”
“It’s for her benefit. If you said any of that stuff around her, she’d probably have your head by now,” Kyuhyun said matter-of-factly; “All of her threats to kill me and the like…”
“Actually, I’ve more or less said the same thing to her,” Taeyeon revealed, “And she hasn’t thrown any death-threats my way… yet, anyway.”
“Really? Well that’s hardly fair. She threatens to kill me at least once a day,” Kyuhyun muttered bitterly,
“Of course she does, it’s because you’re her brother,” Taeyeon laughed softly, “She doesn’t want you to think that she’s actually beginning to like you. That’d be too much for her pride.”
“Well, what about my pride? Maybe I can’t let her know I like her, too,” Kyuhyun stated,
Taeyeon smiled up at him for a moment. Then, she took his hand in her own and began to observe it as they continued walking; “It’s been awhile since we were just like this, Kyuhyun.”
“What? Talking?” Kyuhyun blinked, “We talk almost every other day.”
“I know, but we haven’t really seen each other for awhile,” Taeyeon explained, “Compared to last term where I saw you everyday. It’s weird.”
Kyuhyun smiled at her indulgently, “If you’re so quick to forget, before last term I hardly saw you at school.”
She shrugged and lowered their hands from her gaze. Before she could pull her hand away, however, he held hers tighter.
“How have you been, Tae?”
“As if I need to tell you when you’re holding my hand like that,” Taeyeon admonished lightly,
“True… but I want you to tell me yourself,” Kyuhyun stated as they made their way towards the entrance hall, “You’re right, we haven’t been like this for some time. So tell me what I’ve missed.”
“Nothing, I suppose… nothing of great importance anyway,” Taeyeon answered, “But I’ve missed something concerning you, haven’t I? You’ve begun to gain weight again.”
“Yes,” Kyuhyun sighed, “Apparently there are many misunderstandings between Mi and myself.”
“And your vision?”
“Confused with memories from the past.”
“Memories? From Seonsang-nim’s past?”
Kyuhyun threw her a smirk, “Not for me to tell.”
Taeyeon sighed, “Eh… I guess I can’t blame you,” she retracted her hand from his as she folded her arms over her chest, “But really, if that’s all there was to it, you should have just talked to him instead of, you know, ignoring him for three months.”
Kyuhyun shot her a look, “As if you and Min never have misunderstandings.”
“We have different kinds of misunderstandings compared to you and Seonsaeng-nim,” Taeyeon defended, “Sungmin and I have known each other since we were kids. Different problems arise compared to a couple that’s just getting to know each other.”
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve known Min for years or just months. You two hardly know each other,” Kyuhyun commented baldly, “As arrogant as this sounds… you two have always concerned yourself with me. I like to think I’m a bit more self-sufficient now and that I don’t need you two as much as I have in the past…”
“If you were self-sufficient, I wouldn’t be walking beside you and making sure you didn’t actually walk into sun spots,” Taeyeon scoffed. After nine steps, she sighed, “And I hate to admit it… but you’re right… I don’t even know his favourite colours.”
“Pink is probably in there,” Kyuhyun stated,
Taeyeon blinked, “Really?”
“Favourite colour isn’t something that guys talk about. He might even like purple just to spite me,” Kyuhyun mused,
“You do hate purple,” Taeyeon replied. She glanced at her cousin, “But what do Sungmin and I really know about each other?”
Kyuhyun slanted her a look, “Have you never realized this before?”
“I did… I was in denial,” Taeyeon stated resentfully.
Kyuhyun sighed as he raised a hand, placing it on her head as they continued walking, “Sorry, Tae, but if you’re going to point out my relationship’s shortcomings, I’m going to do the same to you.”
Taeyeon scowled, swiping at his hand, “You know I hate it when you do that. And you know what, sometimes, I hate you.”
Kyuhyun blinked, allowing her to pull his hand away from her head, “Really?”
“Not really… but sometimes I do… because you know I can’t hate you so you do these annoying things,” Taeyeon explained as she held onto his hand. They reached the entrance hall before she spoke again; “Have you been having any problems this term with bullies?”
Kyuhyun shook his head as they headed to the front doors, “Even since that incident with the roof, I haven’t.”
“I wonder why,” Taeyeon mused and then added immediately, “Not that it’s a bad thing, but… they were at you for almost a month and half and just stopped. I know the headmaster punished them but with this school… and the kids at this school, you’d think some of them would still try something.”
Kyuhyun nodded, “I agree. It makes me wonder what the headmaster said to them… especially the ones who left SJA, even with their parents’ approval.”
Taeyeon shrugged, “I guess we’ll never know.”
Kyuhyun considered it a moment but then pushed the thought away as they reached the front doors, opening it just as a young man climbed up the front steps, a taxi driving away behind him. The young man, who was dressed in black and had his arms folded, paused when he caught sight of them. He continued on until he was standing before the pair,
“Is there a problem?” He asked simply, awaiting them to step aside so he could enter the school.
“Why would you ask that?” Taeyeon countered,
Kibum looked at her, his face bland as he began to explain, “Well, the sun’s still up, so there’s no way you two would be out for a walk since Kyuhyun will become barbecue if you did. And, despite how much time we’ve all spent getting acquainted with one another, I doubt you two would volunteer to come greet me upon my return. Especially since I’ve been gone a day and I have no luggage with me.” He stared a moment at Taeyeon before sweeping his gaze to Kyuhyun and back again, “So… is there a problem?”
When neither said anything after a moment, Kibum sighed as he slipped between them and continued into the school, “What did the stubborn girl do?”
“What do you mean?” Taeyeon asked as she and Kyuhyun hurried to catch up to him,
“Did she state up late? Did she eat something bad? Did she get a paper cut? What. Did. Kyuri. Do…?” Kibum questioned, a sudden edge of steel to his words,
“Remember the night her mission happened?” Kyuhyun reminded lightly, keeping his voice as even as possible,
“Yes… it was the night before last,” Kibum answered,
“Did my dear sister ever tell you where she was for the entire mission?” Kyuhyun inquired tentatively,
Kibum was silent for a moment before answering, “No.”
“She was on the roof and now she’s sick and in the nurse’s office,” Taeyeon revealed, her words spilling forth at a mile a minute.
“And you wanted to forestall telling me that!?” Kibum demanded, emotion finally touching his face as his eyes narrowed dangerously,
“Kibum, it was…” Taeyeon trailed off as Kibum dashed ahead of them. She sighed, “Her idea.”
Kyuri flinched, knowing the word could come from only one person. She managed to open her eyes only to see Kibum sitting beside her before placing a fresh compress over her forehead. She closed her eyes again.
“How did it go?”
“Fine,” Kibum replied, “We transferred Ki to a stronghold for now. His transformation wasn’t too hard on him. He’ll continue on with missions as usual, which shouldn’t be too difficult since they usually occur during the night anyway. The group will continue on as always until we can figure out what to do with Ki.”
“Does… he have… someone to…” Kyuri paused to breathe, as if talking took all the energy out of her.
“Feed from? Yes,” Kibum answered as he pressed the back of his hand to one side of her face and then the other, gauging her temperature, “Mizu.”
“Mizu?” Kyuri managed, the shock clear on her face,
“She’s his best friend; his only option,” Kibum said with a slight shrug of his shoulders. He narrowed his eyes, “How are you feeling?”
“Better than before,” Kyuri answered and then realized too late that she replied wrong.
Kibum glared down at her, “You were on the roof for the entire mission? I bet even while you were briefing the team on the mission and making the preparations you were there, too, weren’t you?”
“If you already know… no point… asking,” she muttered, closing her eyes again.
Kibum went into a slew of muttered swears in Japanese, but Kyuri merely smiled because he took her hand while doing so.
Across the room, Kyuhyun entered with his cousin. They walked towards Heechul’s desk, sitting before the desk. Kyuhyun glanced at the person behind the desk, “How’s Kyuri?”
“Her fever is down and nothing else seems to be wrong,” the other replied, writing in an open folder. He paused and then continued writing, “I’m sure Heechul will correct anything I write wrong.”
Kyuhyun watched him for a moment, head tilted slightly. When the other finished writing and closed the folder, he cleared his throat to get the other’s attention. “Mi… from the beginning you’ve had access to the health files here and you claimed some treatment knowledge. Why?”
Zhou Mi glanced at him before turning to the computer and typing in his report, “All my knowledge comes from what I’ve learned in the Council.”
Kyuhyun waited for him to finish, but Zhou Mi said no more. Furtively, he glanced at his cousin who was busy quietly conversing with Kibum. Understanding then, he remained silent.
“So, are you going to finish your answer from earlier?”
Zhou Mi, who was dressed in plain, black pyjama bottoms, looked up from his seat at the desk. His computer was open before him and he had been sitting there for what seemed like an hour. Kyuhyun had wondered what he was doing, especially since he knew that Zhou Mi was ignoring the Council.
“Hmm?” Zhou Mi inquired as he closed his laptop and came over to the bed, sitting on the edge.
“Why did you want access to the health files? Is it because of your mission with the Council?” Kyuhyun repeated, knowing full-well that Zhou Mi remembered what he was talking about.
“You’re more observant than I remember,” Zhou Mi commented lightly,
“Stop being elusive,” Kyuhyun argued as he sat against the headboard,
“Stop talking about the Council,” the other countered,
“Just answer my question and I’ll never mention the Council again,” Kyuhyun offered as he took Zhou Mi’s hand in his own, raising it to eye level as he peered at it, almost as if he were committing each line to memory.
“My mission is to find the vampire that attacked last year. If the vampire was posing as a student, their health records would reveal them,” Zhou Mi explained.
“And if they weren’t posing as a student?” Kyuhyun asked as he held up one of Zhou Mi’s fingers, running the pad of his thumb along the smooth surface of the digit.
“However, if they weren’t posing as a student, then if they attacked again, I would know because of any changes in health. I could pursue that avenue and gather as much data as possible from the attack,” Zhou Mi answered as he watched Kyuhyun,
“So, I played right into your hands, didn’t I?” Kyuhyun mused as he slowly brought Zhou Mi’s finger to his lips,
“More or less, but I wouldn’t have it any other – what are you doing?” Zhou Mi questioned, eyes wide with confusion,
“Having a snack,” Kyuhyun murmured before baring his fangs and piercing the older man’s finger with just a single incisor.
Zhou Mi said nothing, merely watched as Kyuhyun’s lips began to move against his finger. He felt the rough softness of the younger man’s tongue against his skin, felt the plump firmness of his lips. When Kyuhyun began to feed, Zhou Mi felt his mouth go suddenly dry. Whenever Kyuhyun fed, it had always been an… intimate… experience between them. However, he had always managed to push his thoughts away. This time…
He swallowed hard as Kyuhyun slowly fed, his ministrations like a sensual tickle eliciting shivers down his arm. Kyuhyun had fed from him dozens of times. This time, however, seemed different and he wondered if it was all from his end of it.
‘Don’t tell me he’s…’
At that moment, Kyuhyun opened his eyes at half-mast, locking his sultry gaze with the older man. The corner of his lips twitched as he smirked against the other’s skin.
‘He is! He’s trying to seduce me!’ In that moment, Zhou Mi didn’t know if he wanted to cry for joy or kick the brat out of his room.
“You would never kick me out of your room,” Kyuhyun said quietly, confidently as he bit his lip until it bled and then kissed his own blood to the puncture in Zhou Mi’s finger, closing the bite. He licked off the scarlet remnants before straightening, leaning back against the headboard. He tilted his head slightly, his dark eyes sweeping the older man, “Thank you for the snack.”
“What are you doing, Kyuhyun?” Zhou Mi questioned, attempting to regain his breath, to calm his heart and all in vain.
“Exactly what you think I’m doing… what you hope I’m doing,” Kyuhyun replied simply, holding out a hand,
“You’re certainly more enthusiastic than before,” Zhou Mi murmured as he came to kneel on the bed, slowly moving towards him,
Kyuhyun shrugged before smirking, “Might as well make use of what time we have.”
Zhou Mi’s expression grew sober for just a moment as he came within centimetres of Kyuhyun, towering over him as he was still on his knees. He reached with thumb and forefinger, trapping the other’s chin, tilting his face upwards, “You said if I answered your question you’d stop talking about the Council.”
Kyuhyun looked up at him through half-lidded, dark eyes, “What Council?”
Zhou Mi said nothing, merely leaned down and kissed him.
Second week of October 20XX
“I don’t even need a teaching assistant,” Zhou Mi said quietly as the class was in a soft murmur. He had dispensed work but allowed the students to talk amongst themselves. The school was going through midterms once more, so he allowed his students some reprieve before the lunch hour. After lunch, they would receive their exam for whatever subject they would be tested on. He glanced to the man leaning against the wall beside his desk,
“Well, you have me,” Kibum replied, “Besides, I have yet to be in one of your classes.”
“What do you do in the other classes?” Zhou Mi asked,
Kibum shrugged, his bored gaze glazing over the students, “Walk around, answer questions if someone actually has the guts to ask one… usually I just mark tests and whatnot. Not the most stimulating of practices considering the student body and the… lack of conviction of the teachers here.” He glanced at Zhou Mi, “There are exceptions to that comment, however.”
“Does Kyuri ever venture into classrooms?” Zhou Mi asked,
“Sometimes. Her main objective is to learn from Heechul-sshi,” Kibum explained, “So, if she ever goes into a classroom, it’s usually biology and more often than not, it’s Sungmin-sshi’s classroom.” Kibum blinked, “A question? Really? There’s only ten minutes left of the class.”
Zhou Mi glanced to where Kibum was looking, “Wonder of wonders… you or me?”
“I’ll go. That’s why I’m here… I suppose,” Kibum pushed away from the wall and walked between the desks to where a boy had his hand in the air. Kibum barely glanced at the other boys nearby who watched with a peculiar eagerness in their eyes, “Yes?”
“We were wondering… are you friends with that female teaching assistant?” The boy asked,
Kibum felt his instincts begin to itch. He fisted his hands in his pockets and continued in his drawl, “Yes. Why?”
“She’s pretty hot, don’t you think? Well, then she got pregnant and fat,” the boy commented, “Have you ever taken her?”
Kibum held onto his control with an iron fist he had perfected over the years. He cocked an eyebrow, “Follow me into the hallway and I’ll tell you something.” Without looking back, knowing full-well he had ensnared the younger boy, Kibum proceeded out to the hallway.
The boy followed him, closing the door behind him, “What is it? Was she kinky in bed?” What happened next occurred too fast for the boy to even predict, let alone stop. One moment he was standing before the teaching assistant, eager for whatever he had to say. The next moment, he was slammed against the wall, a forearm pressed painfully into his neck. He gasped for air, for words as that same teaching assistant continued to eye him with the same bored expression as always. This time, however, there was a dangerous glint in those dark eyes.
“That’s my wife you’re talking about,” Kibum said, his voice a low growl, the slight-lie easily slipping into place, “Yeah, she’s hot, but she’s too damn good for you and all your friends to even see her, let alone talk about her. So if I ever hear you or anyone else even talk about her or even look at her, I’ll come back for you.” He pressed his forearm even harder against the boy’s throat, effectively choking him, “Do you understand? I don’t care if it’s someone you don’t even know who is talking about her – I will come after you.”
Kibum suddenly stepped back, releasing his hold on the boy. The boy crumbled to the ground, gasping for air, “My… father… will hear… of this!”
Kibum reached down, grabbing the boy by his collar. He held him up against the door until the boy’s toes barely scratched the floor. His eyes narrowed fiercely, “Will he?” Kibum allowed his lips to curl into a malevolent smirk, “That’s fine. By the time your father gets here, you’ll be long gone.”
The boy swallowed hard.
“So you can call your father, but it’ll take him some time to come here and save your sorry ass,” Kibum drawled casually, slowly, threateningly, “And I can do a lot of damage in that time span… Heck, I could even prevent you from calling your father. I could silence you… Right. Now.”
The boy began to shake his head, tears forming in his eyes as he was, once again, struggling to breathe. Kibum’s dark eyes sliced at him with a cold, silent fury. Instinctively, his fingers pressed harder into the boy’s neck. Tighter… tighter… tighter still…
He heard the soft sound of footsteps and slowly slipped his hand from the boy’s throat. Immediately, the boy moved his hands to his throat in a defensive manner, tear-filled eyes staring wildly at Kibum. The door opened enough so that the literature teacher stood there, blocking the view from the classroom.
One shoulder against the doorframe, his eyes swept over the two, finally landing on Kibum with a silent question, “If you need to go to the nurse’s office, your belongings may remain here until you can collect them,” Zhou Mi stated, his words for the boy despite still staring hard at the Hunter.
The boy nodded frantically, inching away from Kibum before scrambling down the hallway.
“Kibum, this is a high school,” Zhou Mi hissed as he stepped out of the room, closing the door firmly behind him, “You can’t go about doing whatever you want to the students!”
“If you heard the things he said –”
“That doesn’t matter Kibum! We have to be above all of that, we can’t allow the students’ actions to affect us, we can’t allow ourselves to become emotionally involved!” Zhou Mi reprimanded sternly, eyes narrowed.
He had always respected the younger man, hearing bits and pieces of Kibum’s history from small things Kyuri said over the months since he first met them. He admired Kibum as a Hunter and as a person. He saw the way Kibum treated Kyuri, cherished her, respected her and protected her. He never once felt any ill feelings towards him. However, after hearing the tell-tale bang against the classroom door and seeing the scene when he opened the door, he didn’t know what to feel towards Kibum.
“Tell that to Kyuhyun,” Kibum said quietly, his face emotionless once more, but his eyes still burned with dark fire,
“All that bullshit you just preached to me, say the same things to Kyuhyun,” Kibum challenged, crossing his arms over his chest in an obvious, defiant manner. “On second thought… you know what he’s been through, you’ve seen first-hand the damage dealt to him. And all this time you weren’t emotionally involved?”
“That’s different –”
“Bullshit!” Kibum hissed angrily, bitterly, defensively before schooling his features once more, “The one you care about was threatened – did you react to it?”
“Of course –”
“Well, the one I care about – Kyuri – was threatened and I reacted,” Kibum defended, his tone monotonous again, “You say all these things, why don’t you actually practice what you preach, Zhou Mi? Oh wait, you can’t, can you? You say the words of a teacher, you act the ways of a teacher but, in the end, you are not a teacher, Zhou Mi. You are a Hunter just like me.
“You’ve been trained to utilize both your skill and protective instincts to their full potentials. If it had been you out in this hall and that boy had talked of Kyuhyun the way he did of Kyuri…” Kibum paused, inhaling deeply, steadying himself once more. He threw Zhou Mi a dark look, “Had you been in my situation you would not have acted differently, so don’t even try to act all high and mighty with me. You may with anyone else, but not with me. I know what you really are, Zhou Mi, I know how your instincts, emotions, thoughts act because that is how mine are… how we are trained.”
Kibum turned on his heel to leave, calling behind him as he walked away, “I’m giving my resignation to the headmaster. I can live off the rest of my days in my room or the nurse’s office. I don’t need to deal with the idiotic people of this school.”
Zhou Mi watched him. It wasn’t until Kibum was gone that he realized he had been holding his breathe, that every muscle had been tensed; ready for attack or defence, he wasn’t sure. He momentarily sagged against the door, trying to regain composure. However, what happened instead was that Kibum’s words reverberated through his mind word for word. He stumbled as he tried to straighten when he realized Kibum had deliberately said ‘idiotic people’ and not ‘idiotic students’.
Later that afternoon, Zhou Mi sat still and silent in his classroom. His chair slightly angled towards the windows, his eyes gazed unseeingly at the bright autumn sky. He sat, one knee crossed over the other, arms loosely folded about his torso and every muscle unflinching, his body barely moving as he breathed slowly, evenly.
He was unaware of his surroundings, something that never happened after he began training for the Council. He wasn’t sure how long he sat there, long after the bell rang signalling the end of classes for the day. All he could hear were Kibum’s words echoing over and over in his mind.
What was he doing? Was he that big of a hypocrite? He always knew he was lying on some level because of his double-profession, but that was all he was lying about. Wasn’t it? He tried to stay as honest as possible with everything else, especially to Kyuhyun.
Zhou Mi sighed, Kyuhyun.
That’s where it all came down to. That young boy. That unfortunate turned vampire. His life had been simple, his purpose clear-cut until he came into his life. His emotions had been gloriously detached in everything, he didn’t have anything to lose, the only person in his life being Geng and his friend was far from danger. No, his life had been easy until that vampire came into it. Then, everything changed.
Suddenly, life became a battle every day. A battle with his emotions, his instincts, his thoughts. His purpose became hazy; why was he at SJA again? Why was he still at SJA when there was no vampiric activity aside from his own vampire? His emotions had become a tangled mess and suddenly, he had everything to lose.
He was changing.
Everything he once thought and believed in was no longer black and white. Suddenly, grey areas had appeared in his life and he found he did not like them, he did not feel comfortable or stable in them. He was ignoring the Council, disregarding his original mission – compromising it horribly… He had joined the Council to stop vampires from doing what his brother had done so many years ago and yet… was it not a turned vampire, just like his brother, who now periodically shared his bed?
Kyuhyun. He seemed to breathe that name.
Kyuhyun, who appeared in his room every night. Kyuhyun, who was tentative and embarrassed at feeding. Kyuhyun, who was attentive and, surprisingly, enthusiastic in their nightly activities. Kyuhyun, who unknowingly would always hold his hand against his own heart as if assuring the older man of his feelings. Kyuhyun, who had stolen his…
He felt the familiar shaking of the cellular in his pocket as it vibrated. Instinctively, he pulled it out of his pocket, his eyes barely taking in the name that registered on the screen.
“Sir, you’ve ignored me for over a week!”
“Yes, I am aware of this… I was the one who was doing the ignoring.”
“Sir, you have to come back to the Council! The Council Members are angry and other Head Hunters are upset at the leniency being shown to you!”
“I thought as much would occur.”
“Sir, please! You have to come back immediately!”
His assistant’s words triggered a memory. It slipped out and wrapped around him as he immediately thought of his beloved vampire.
“There will come a time when you have to leave… right?”
“And I will come back.”
“No, Sir, I am not kidding or exaggerating! You have to come back now! Tonight!”
Again, long-ago words returned, filled with the same tentativeness and worry as when they were first said.
“It’ll be soon, won’t it? You can’t ignore them for too long.”
“The school is going through midterms,” Zhou Mi said quietly, steadily, forcibly pushing away the thoughts of that vampire he knew wasn’t even worried in the least about exams; “I will return afterwards.”
“You have my word,” Zhou Mi said firmly, his tone brooking no arguments and adding finality to the conversation; “By the end of the week, I will return to the Council.”
Before his assistant could say anymore, Zhou Mi turned off the phone. He uncrossed his legs, firmly planting his feet on the ground. He leaned forward in his seat, his elbows finding purchase on his knees as his hands tightly clasped the phone. His thoughts were whirling as his emotions churned unbearably. What had he done? Did he not vow to protect Kyuhyun for as long as possible? Did he not make promises? Then why? Why had he…
Suddenly, as if burned, he threw the cellular from him. It whipped through the air in a straight line before smashing against the wall, falling to pieces on the floor. Slowly, ever so slowly, he lowered his face to his hands. He shut his eyes tightly against the burning hot tears that threatened.
Kyuhyun… I’m sorry.
Three days later; Friday, Second week of October 20XX
The final midterm exam finished and Zhou Mi could heart the echoes of sighs of relief. He slowly rose to his full height, his eyes sweeping his students who were putting down their pens, stretching their limbs to the ceiling. One by one, they all turned their wary eyes towards him, silent questions in their depths. His solemn expression pinned them before he offered his usual, easy smile,
“Have a good weekend, everyone,” Zhou Mi said simply, “No homework this weekend.”
A collective sigh occurred once more as the students began bringing up their exams to his desk, piling them, and then packing their belongings and exiting the classroom. He walked over to the exam papers, stacking them neatly. He paused, leaning his hips back against his desk as he skimmed through them. He felt the corners of his lips tug; none of the exams were empty. A strange warmth spread through him at the thought that his students – all of his students – had completed the exam and (“Wonder of wonders,” he murmured) had done fairly well from what he quickly read.
The door opened and closed. He slowly put the papers back down on his desk as he watched the younger man approach him. He remained where he was, slightly sitting on the edge of his desk, and waited.
Kyuhyun walked along the wall that was opposite the wall where the windows were. He stopped when he was parallel with Zhou Mi, but across the room. He turned to him, leaning back against the wall. He folded his arms loosely around his torso, “I know you can’t tell since the lights are on, but the sun reaches to about a metre in front of me.”
Zhou Mi grinned at him as he pushed away from the desk and slowly made his way to the other man. He stopped just a metre away from him.
Kyuhyun narrowed his eyes, “You know I can’t come to you.”
“Why are you here? You never come to me when the sun’s still up,” Zhou Mi stated simply, an easy smile still on his face,
“Because you’re leaving me, aren’t you?” Kyuhyun asked, expression softening, “Exams are over… you can leave now, can’t you?”
“How did… your telepathy,” Zhou Mi sighed, his smile melting away. He closed the distance between them, “Kyuhyun…”
“I would have appreciate being told rather than my telepathy telling me,” Kyuhyun stated, “But I suppose I understand your reasons for not telling me.” Kyuhyun smirked at Zhou Mi’s expression, “My telepathy knows no bounds.”
“Apparently not,” Zhou Mi locked his gaze with the other, “Do you understand that I don’t want to leave you?”
“Do you resent me for leaving?” Zhou Mi asked quietly, tentatively, his entire body seizing, tensing, waiting for an answer,
“No,” Kyuhyun said after a moment, “We talked about it before… so I can’t say I’m surprised.”
“Do… do you want me to wait a day or two before I go?” Zhou Mi inquired, his heart beating fiercely,
In answer, Kyuhyun reached up to his face, bringing it to his own for a kiss. His lips moved tentatively, his tongue hesitantly tracing the other’s bottom lip, prompting him to part his lips. Zhou Mi obliged and Kyuhyun deepened the kiss, his tongue sweeping into the other’s mouth. Zhou Mi slowly moved in closer, his body sandwiching Kyuhyun’s to the wall, his forearms propped against the wall on either side of Kyuhyun’s head.
Kyuhyun held Zhou Mi to him, tasting him, relishing in the feel of the older man’s body pressed against his own. He had known for days what Zhou Mi was going to do once midterms were finished. He had been angry at first and then sad. Finally, he had just waited.
He wanted Zhou Mi to stay another day, maybe two. If only, forever. He wanted to hold on and not let go. He had few people in his life, he didn’t want to lose anymore; this one especially. The thought of Zhou Mi going away caused a rising panic within him, caused his heart to cramp painfully. He wanted to ask Zhou Mi to stay longer, but knew he could not. So, he kissed him. He kissed him and put all of his unsaid thoughts and secret emotions into that one kiss.
Slowly, he felt the rising heat in his body, his blood singing. He pressed kisses along Zhou Mi’s jaw, stopping with his lips pressed against the other’s pulse on his neck. He stilled, remained silent.
“Take what you need,” Zhou Mi said, his voice low, raspy as his breathing was shallow and staggered.
Kyuhyun felt his incisors lengthen, breathed his gratitude and then pierced the skin. His eyes fluttered closed as he drank, hot liquid spilling into his mouth. It tasted metallic, sweet and infinitely Zhou Mi. Every cell in his body rejoiced at the sustenance and his heart raced at the familiar blood, at the intimate action.
His lips clung to the other’s pulse point, never wanting to release him. His tongue swished back and forth on the other’s skin, tasting it hungrily. He drank greedily when he felt Zhou Mi’s body sway against his own. He bit down on his lip until it bled, kissing his healing blood against the pinpricks. With one last swish of his tongue, he cleaned the scarlet remnants away.
He stayed still, his lips pressed against Zhou Mi’s neck, “I never thought I could feel this way for someone… never wanted to. It was too dangerous, too risky…”
“Kyuhyun, I l –” Zhou Mi paused, feeling his cellular shake in his pocket. Sighing exasperatedly, he slipped one arm away from the wall, pulled out his phone, which was precariously held together with layers of tape and held it to his ear, “What?”
“Sir, I’m outside.”
“Of the academy,” his assistant explained, “I’m here to pick you up.”
“I didn’t need you to do that,” Zhou Mi grounded out,
“I know, but I have a feeling if I didn’t, you wouldn’t return and then the Council Members would be after me,” his assistant answered, an apology in his tone.
“But, Sir –”
“Tonight and no sooner!” He slammed the phone close. He sighed exasperatedly when the pieces didn’t close properly together.
Kyuhyun chuckled softly as he took the phone from the other’s hand, “What happened to your phone?”
“It broke,” Zhou Mi stated dryly, pressing his body tightly against Kyuhyun’s so he could lean his forehead against the wall,
“That call... it was the Council, wasn’t it?” Kyuhyun asked tentatively, bringing the phone to his chest and clutching it there.
“Basically. It was my assistant informing me that he’s outside of the school, ready to bring me back,” Zhou Mi sighed heavily,
For a moment, Kyuhyun said nothing, his mind processing the other’s words. Then, he said quietly, “So… our time is up,”
Zhou Mi turned his head, his lips at Kyuhyun’s ear. He pressed a kiss there, slowly trailing kisses along his neck and stopping when he felt the subtle beating pulse there. He closed his eyes, inhaling deeply the scent he knew undoubtedly to be Kyuhyun’s. He murmured against the younger man’s skin, “We have until the sun sets. I won’t leave before then.”
“For the next few hours, can we just go back to your room?” He paused and the added immediately, “Do all of your thoughts go back to that?”
“Well, what else could you possible want to do in my room?” Zhou Mi asked, soft laughter in his tone,
Kyuhyun ducked his head to hide his heated cheeks as he murmured incoherently.
“I just… I want you… to hold me,” Kyuhyun stammered, his voice hesitant and soft. Slowly, he unclasped one hand from the cellular still clutched to his chest. With his free hand, he slid it around Zhou Mi’s waist and half-embraced him.
Zhou Mi, with one forearm still propped against the wall, raised his free hand. His fingers curled around the nape of Kyuhyun’s neck, his thumb rubbing small, soothing circles. “Okay, let’s go.”
When the last rays of the sun disappeared from the sky, he felt a coldness sweep through his body, his heart heavier than a rock. Instinctively, he embraced the one in his arms even tighter. He clenched his eyes tightly closed, nuzzling his face against the back of the other’s neck.
“I guess this means our time is over,” Kyuhyun said quietly, instinctively awakening when the other hugged him tighter.
“Only for now,” Zhou Mi promised, “I’ll come back as soon as I can.” He released Kyuhyun from his embrace, pushing up so his torso hovered over Kyuhyun as the younger man rolled onto his back. He looked down at him, “After everything I’ve done just to hear you call me by my name, do you think I’ll give you up so easily?”
“People who had more of me have left me easily,” Kyuhyun replied, his voice a bare whisper,
Zhou Mi felt his heart clench painfully, leaning down until his forehead kissed Kyuhyun’s, “Those people aren’t me. Kyuhyun, it goes against everything I ever believed in to be with you, but for some reason I don’t care. From the moment I first met you, I wanted to protect you and even when I found out you’re a vampire, I still wanted to stay by your side.” He shifted his head, brushing his lips against Kyuhyun’s forehead, “I will come back.”
Kyuhyun said nothing, simply laid there motionlessly as Zhou Mi slipped from the bed and began to pack his few belongings into his bags.
Zhou Mi kept his back to the younger man in the dark room only lit by moonlight. He packed methodically, keeping his thoughts to his actions in a desperate act to block out the pain of saying goodbye. He folded his clothes, tossing them into the suitcase, knowing he had to be quick or else his damned assistant would somehow hunt down his room. He didn’t want anyone in this room except for Kyuhyun.
“If… if I’m gone longer than a few days… are you able to feed?” Zhou Mi asked tentatively, clutching the shirt in his hand tightly. The thought of Kyuhyun feeding from someone else, his mouth on someone else… He fought hard not to shake violently as he whipped the shirt into his suitcase.
“I… I don’t want to feed if… if it’s not,” Kyuhyun sighed quietly, he was stronger than this, wasn’t he? He sat up, swinging his feet to the floor. His hands clasped loosely between his legs, he eyed the closest window, which had been left open from when they lay in bed since the sun set in the opposite direction of where the room was on campus. He sighed again and stated simply, “I don’t want to feed if it’s not you… Mi.”
“And you think I want that?” Zhou Mi questioned. He sighed heavily as he bent to close the suitcase. He picked up his duffle bag and put it on his desk. He began to put his books and computer in it, “But if you don’t feed, you’ll grow weak and… if there was any other way.” His hands trembled as he closed the zipper on the bag, “You have to feed while I’m gone, Kyuhyun.”
Kyuhyun said nothing.
Zhou Mi picked up the duffle bag, slinging its strap horizontally across a shoulder, the bag resting against his hip. He picked up his suitcase and headed for the door, “I’ll be back soon.” His free hand was on the doorknob when he felt arms wrap around him from behind and a warm, solid body pressed against his back. “Kyuhyun…”
“I’ll wait two weeks,” Kyuhyun stated simply, sternly, “I’ll wait two weeks and if you’re not back by then, then I’ll feed from Sungmin.”
“Then I’ll be back before then,” Zhou Mi replied. He released the doorknob, grabbing one of Kyuhyun’s hands from his abdomen and dragging it over his heart. He pressed the younger man’s hand flat against his chest, “Do you feel that?”
“That’s what you do to me,” Zhou Mi said, closing his eyes and imprinting the feel of Kyuhyun in his memory forever; “Just like how you do this to me so that I know your feelings, I’m doing this to you so you know my feelings. So you know that I will come back.”
Kyuhyun leaned his cheek against Zhou Mi’s back, “Don’t make me wait for too long.”
With that, Kyuhyun slipped his arms from Zhou Mi and then took a step back, every fibre of his body resisting the action. Zhou Mi stood still for a heartbeat. Then, he opened the door and escaped into the dark corridor.
The autumn night was cold, the wind a crisp and sharp friend. The sky had darkened even more as inky clouds covered the moon. He stood on the rooftop, looking over the front courtyard, his eyes on the car. He had been up there for some time now, counting the minutes until he knew Zhou Mi would appear having crossed the east wing and four floors. As if on cue, he saw Zhou Mi stepping off the front steps. Immediately, a man ran out of the car, taking Zhou Mi’s bags from him and putting them into the trunk of the car.
“Is this why I haven’t seen you all day?”
Kyuhyun barely reacted at the sound of his cousin’s voice as she appeared at his side. He forced himself not to look away from Zhou Mi as he felt the presence of others joining him on the rooftop.
“Where is he going?” He heard his oldest friend’s voice inquire.
“He’s probably been called back to the Council,” his sister stated.
He chanced a quick glance, finding Taeyeon, Sungmin beside her and Kyuri on his other side. As he turned back to look down at Zhou Mi, he slipped his jacket from his shoulders and put it around his sister, briefly touching her protruding stomach as he closed it for her.
Kyuhyun watched as the other man, presumably Zhou Mi’s assistant, re-entered the car. His eyes followed Zhou Mi flawlessly despite the darkness of the night. The night suddenly flashed with lightning and thunder rumbled before the skies opened up. At that moment, Zhou Mi slipped into the car and it began to pull away from the school.
Kyuhyun blinked the rain from his eyes, “Kyuri, can I ask you something?”
“Of course,” she said, slipping her arms from the sleeves of the jacket to wrap over her stomach,
“In the Council, regular Hunters don’t have assistants, do they?” Kyuhyun inquired, vainly trying to follow the progress of the dark car down the long driveway,
“No. In the Council the lowest level to have an assistant would be a Head Hunter,” Kyuri answered, curiosity in her tone; even Taeyeon and Sungmin had turned to look at him.
“That’s what I thought,” Kyuhyun murmured. He sighed heavily as he lost sight of the car in the darkness; “I… wondered before. Kyuri… Zhou Mi’s a Head Hunter, isn’t he?”
Kyuri swallowed hard before answering quietly, “Yes.”
Kyuhyun felt a coldness sweep through him and he knew it wasn’t all from the cold rain. He turned his back to the retreating car. He didn’t look back as he went back into the school.
(Phase 22: Death of a Fairytale)